In the years since the Breeders’ Cup inaugural in 1984, there have been many exciting races.  Sorting out the best is certainly a matter of opinion.  Following are my personal six most memorable races, along with links to the race replays from YouTube.

No. 6:  1994 Juvenile Fillies

Stablemates Flanders and Serena Song battled for the entire 1 1/16 mile race for 2-year-old fillies.  Despite suffering a career-ending injury, Flanders prevailed by a nose.  Serena Song’s racing record put her in the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame.

Race Replay Link

No. 5:  1991 Juvenile

Arazi arrived at Churchill Downs with a record of six consecutive Group wins in France.  His come-from-behind surge in the Juvenile devastated the other 2-year-old colts and electrified the crowd.  He returned for the 1992 Kentucky Derby but disappointed.  He again returned to Louisville for the 1992 Breeders’ Cup Mile but was not a factor and was retired from racing.  But for one race, the 1991 Juvenile, Arazi put on a scintillating performance for the ages.

Race Replay Link

No. 4:  2009 Classic

In 2008, Zenyatta won the Breeders’ Cup Distaff as a 4-year-old.  In 2009, she was entered in the Breeders’ Cup Classic and came from last to first to become the first (and still only) mare to win the race.  She also was the first horse to win two different Breeders’ Cup races.  She remained undefeated until she ran second in her last race before being retired, the 2010 Classic at Churchill Downs.

Race Replay Link

No. 3:  2000 Classic

The 3-year-old colts Tiznow and Giant’s Causeway fought one another down the stretch at Churchill Downs with Tiznow winning by a nose.  Giant’s Causeway had won five straight Group I turf races in Europe and he nearly overcame the disadvantages of travel from Europe to Kentucky, a 5-hour time differential, and unfamiliar dirt racing surface.

Race Replay Link

No. 2:  1988 Distaff

Winning Colors had become the third filly to win the Kentucky Derby in 1988.  She was in the Distaff at Churchill Downs against the undefeated 4-year-old Personal Ensign.  With 50 yards to go, Winning Colors looked to be the sure winner as Personal Ensign appeared to have little or no chance to catch her…but miraculously catch her she did, winning by the slimmest of margins.  Personal Ensign retired with a record of 13 wins from 13 starts and both she and Winning Colors are in the Hall of Fame.

Race Replay Link

No. 1:  1989 Classic

This nail-biter of a race was the classic of the classics.

Sunday Silence and Easy Goer had raced against each other three times prior to the 1989 Classic.  Sunday Silence beat favored Easy Goer in the Kentucky Derby and barely beat him again in arguably the best Preakness of all time.  Easy Goer got a measure of revenge in the Belmont by trouncing Sunday Silence.  In the 1989 Classic at Gulfstream Park, Sunday Silence held on to win by a neck over the fast-closing Easy Goer.  Both colts are in the Hall of Fame.

Race Replay Link

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